Ask A North Korean: Defectors Talk About Their Lives Inside the World's Most Secretive Nation

Ask A North Korean: Defectors Talk About Their Lives Inside the World's Most Secretive Nation


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"In his new book, Ask a North Korean, Daniel Tudor—a former Economist journalist and current Korean beer entrepreneur— wants people to understand the true lives of everyday North Koreans. Using translated essays written by defectors, the book covers topics from politics to pornography." The Boston Globe

The weekly column Ask A North Korean, published by NK News , invites readers from around the world to pose questions to North Korean defectors . Adapted from the long-running column, these fascinating interviews provide authentic firsthand testimonies about life in North Korea and what is really happening inside the "Hermit Kingdom."

North Korean contributors to this book include:

  • "Seong" who went to South Korea after dropping out during his final year of university. He is now training to be an elementary school teacher.
  • "Kang" who left North Korea in 2005. He now lives in London, England.
  • "Cheol" who was from South Hamgyeong in North Korea and is now a second-year university student in Seoul.
  • "Park" worked and studied in Pyongyang before defecting to the U.S. in 2011. He is now studying at a U.S. college.

Ask A North Korean sheds critical light on all aspects of North Korean politics and society and shows that, even in the world's most authoritarian regime, life goes on in ways that are very different from what outsiders may think. Begin to understand North Korea through the eyes of those who know it best—its defectors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780804849333
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Publication date: 03/20/2018
Edition description: Translatio
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,159,241
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Daniel Tudor has lived in Seoul for many years and served as Korea Correspondent for The Economist from 2010 – 2013. His first book Korea: The Impossible Country received strong praise and has been translated into many languages. His subsequent book, North Korea Confidential (with James Pearson), was selected by The Economist as one of the best books of 2015.

Andrei Lankov is a Director at NK News and writes exclusively for the site as one of the world's leading authorities on North Korea. A graduate of Leningrad State University, he attended Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung University from 1984-5. In addition to his writing, he is also a Professor at Kookmin University.

Table of Contents

Foreword Andrei Lankov 7

Introduction 9

Contributors 12

Part 1 Economic Life 15

Part 2 The Powers That Be 41

Part 3 Media and Information 67

Part 4 Pyongyang vs. the Rest 89

Part 5 The Outside World 107

Part 6 Comparing North and South 131

Part 7 Health and Welfare 149

Part 8 Defection from North Korea 167

Part 9 Religion and Spirituality 187

Part 10 Love, Sex, Relationships 201

Part 11 Fun and Leisure 217

Part 12 Any Other Questions? 235

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